LLDA employees ordered to return P4M in unauthorized bonuses
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered officials and employees of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to returned a total of P3.69 million in bonuses that they received in 2013 but turned out to be unauthorized.
A recently released audit report on the agency showed that the LLDA management issued Resolution No. 452, Series of 2013, to authorize the release of the amount as Corporate Anniversary Package.
State auditors noted, however, that the disbursement was in violation of Administrative Order No. 263 (1996), which allows government entities to pay anniversary bonuses only during “milestone years,” or the 15th year and every 5 years after that.
COA pointed out that 2013 was LLDA's 44th founding anniversary, and therefore not a milestone year.
Auditors also noted that there was obviously “no funds...available for such benefits” because the almost P4 million was derived from LLDA’s “maintenance and other operating expenses.” Under the law, bonuses should be funded under “personal services.”
“We recommend that management cause the refund by the recipients of the Corporate Anniversary Package,” the COA report said.
COA rejected LLDA's explanation that its charter allows the board to set the compensation of its employees and to approve supplemental budgets.
The LLDA management had claimed that the bonus was meant as a reward to its employees for improving the agency's revenue collection and to assist those who were affected by typhoons. – Rappler.com